Houghton Regis woman cleared of threatening girls with knife

A woman accused of brandishing a knife in front of three schoolgirls in Houghton Regis was found not guilty after a court trial.

Melanie Tatham, 39, was said to have taken the knife out of a bag when she thought the girls were laughing at her.

It was alleged that she raised the knife to her head as she stood in front of the girls, who were aged 12 and 13, causing them to run to the home of one of them.

A call was made to the police, who then went to the home of Miss Tatham. She flatly denied using a knife to threaten the youngsters.

Miss Tatham went on trial at Luton Crown Court last week pleading not guilty to having an article with a blade or point on Friday, August 22 last year in Trident Drive.

The court heard how the girls were walking along the street laughing, joking and singing. The defendant was walking ahead of them and the youngsters recognised her as living in the area.

According to the prosecution the laughter and high spirits of the girls appeared to have upset Miss Tatham, who thought it was being directed at her. It was alleged she then stopped and turned and fiddled in her bag.

The youngsters were wary and changed direction, but it was claimed Miss Tatham moved to block them brandishing the knife, which she raised to her head.

When police later went to her home in Trident Drive she denied having a knife with her.

Giving evidence, she claimed on the day of the incident she had been drinking and had no memory of what was said to have taken place.

But she denied having a knife with her that day and said the girls must have mistaken the strap and buckle of her bag for a knife.

She was found not guilty of possessing a bladed article.